3 best routes for walking and hiking in MallorcaWednesday, May 18, 2016 Hiking and Walking by Elina Pedersen
I love hiking and I hope you do too!
Since I’ve made it my mission to write about every activity available on Mallorca this post will be about hiking on this amazing island.
You may have already noticed that you are spoiled with choice when it comes to leisure activities in Mallorca.
You can go diving at one of Mallorca’s 70 amazing dive sites, choose one of many charter boat tours to explore Mallorca’s coastal points of interest, or cycle in Mallorca exploring Palma, wine yards, roads or mountains.
In terms of leisure activities Mallorca truly has it all and the island won’t disappoint hiking and walking lovers either.
Hiking in Mallorca ranges from beginners walking trails to difficult climbing routes you shouldn’t attempt without proper equipment and an experienced guide.
It is important to point out that when it comes to Mallorca trekking tours are available year-round. Of course, it is preferable to do advanced routes when it’s not raining or not too hot, however no matter when you are going to Mallorca you will be able to find a trail suitable for the season.
Interestingly, the best time to go hiking in Mallorca is after the holiday high season is over, thus you might want to combine Mallorca hiking trip with your next Mallorca cycling vacation.
Before I get into details on where exactly you can find Mallorca hiking trails, it is important to provide some background on the island’s terrain.
Mallorca, being the largest island in the Balearics, has a total area of 3’640 km2. The island is blessed with two mountain ranges: Serra de Tramuntana and Serres de Llevant. Both of which are 70 km in length and located close to each other occupying northwest and northeast of the island.
It won’t come as a surprise that most of the Mallorca’s hiking routes are located in the mountains or in the valleys of those mountains. The valleys are filled with oak trees, century-old olive trees and, of course, fruit tree groves. Almost on every hike you will be able to try some freshly squeezed orange juice made by the local farmers and sold at their own home.
Beginner hiking in Mallorca: Cala Figuera
One of the best easy walks for beginners lies in the Cala Figuera on the southeastern part of the island. The place is about 50 minutes drive from Palma de Mallorca if that’s where you are staying.
You should start and finish at Cala el Mago and there are plenty of signs to direct you to Cala Figuera so you won’t be lost.
The best part about this trek is that at the end of it you will be rewarded by the amazing view of the whole coast of Palma. The whole route is about 11 kilometers long and would take you about 2,5-3 hours to complete depending on your speed.
Although hiking in Mallorca is becoming more and more popular, the chances are you will be alone throughout the journey. Except, a few mountain goats that may cross your way.
During your walk you will see small coves and cute beaches as well as the famous Cala Figuera lighthouse. This is the only lighthouse you can see from an airplane when you land in Mallorca. However, there are fourteen lighthouses on the island all together.
Although the route is suitable for complete beginners, you will still be walking on the limestone most of the time; hence comfortable steady shoes are highly recommended.
Intermediate Mallorca Trekking rout: Balitax and Sa Costera
My pick for the best intermediate hike is in Serra de Tramuntana and it’s an old route between Balitax and Sa Costera (Cala Tuent). The same area I mentioned in the ultimate cycling guide to Mallorca as one of the best mountain biking routes.
Depending on your fitness level and previous hiking experience you can either start in Soller or drive or take a bus to Ses Barques and start your hike from there.
As soon as you arrive to Ses Barques you will be able to see signs for the trekking path. Throughout the beginning of your journey you will be walking next to an old stonewall with a very particular Mediterranean masonry.
All the time you will be following the road previously used for donkey carts to transfer goods from local farmhouses. Surrounded by pine trees, olive trees and fruit trees this route is truly authentic.
When you walk into the Balitx Valley you will pass by the famous farmhouse of Balitx d’Avall and a small waterfall and river of Torrent de Na More – if you are into canoeing there are trips available taking you to the sea from the point where Torrent de Na More starts. Interestingly, this river is formed from rainfall at Puig Major the highest point of Serra de Tramuntana.
You fill continue following the route signs until you reach the old power plant that supplied electricity to Soller until 1962.
Should you decide to do this path you will need to organise a transfer back from Tuent to Ses Barques or Sa Calobra where you can catch a boat to Port de Soller.
Altogether this route will take about 5 hours to complete, before you start make sure you check the weather and have plenty of drinking water with you.
Challenging Mallorca Hiking Trails: Reservoir Cuber and Puig de L’Ofre.
The advanced route I would like to share with you starts in Biniaraix and takes you all the way to Cuber Reservoir. I should warn you though: this route is challenging and steep. You are expected to be fit enough to ascend as much as 900 meters, nonetheless the scenery is well worth it.
For this hike expect to walk for about 4 hours depending on your speed. This route is located in Serra de Tramuntana similar to the intermediate, however this time you will be able to catch a bus back and don’t need to organize an additional transfer.
You will start in Biniaraix and will walk on a hiking path number G221 towards Cami des Barranc passing through amazing pine forests. You will walk through the path until you find several river streams meeting in one point with a beautiful wooden bridge in the middle. Cross the bridge and continue towards Cuber.
When you reach the reservoir you can climb up Puig de L’Ofre, which is 1093 meters tall, an amazing view opens on Serra de Tramuntana from this tip. After you return to the Reservoir you can make it right to the Es Noguer fountain from where you can get a bus back to Soller.
Depending on the time you choose to hike the route you might go to Lluc instead of Soller, where you will have a chance to wonder around the fabulous Lluc Monastery – a famous pilgrimage site.
The legend states that in the 13th century a shepherd found a statue of Black Madonna in the mountains and brought it to the close by church. However, next morning the statue returned to its original spot. Thus, the place was pronounced holy and later a monastery was built on this site.
Obviously, this is just a list of a few routes available for hiking in Mallorca. You can always go discovering on your own, but be careful with the areas you choose to explore, as some of the paths are more challenging and wild than others.
Always keep in mind that a lot of mountain regions are privately owned, thus at the end of a trail you might face a closed gate.
The government is doing its best to stop local landowners and farmers from closing their land and help hikers explore the area. Hence, make sure that the trekking route you choose will not be blocked by any closed gates or obstacles.
As with any hiking trips there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you go hiking in Mallorca:
- Always bring plenty of water – hiking might take longer than you expect and the worst thing that can happen to you is you running out of water. Being dehydrated on a hot summer day is not only uncomfortable, but also dangerous.
- Wear a few layers – you are hiking in the mountains. There are not high but they are still mountains. It’s important that you can put some layers on, as well as take some off, so you feel comfortable at all times.
- Comfortable footwear is the key! Your hike can easily be ruined if you are wearing uncomfortable shoes, moreover you will be going both up and down and it’s easy to hurt your feet during the ascent, so make sure your shoes are properly fitting hiking shoes.
- Don’t forget you are above the sea level and in a hot climate – bring some sunscreen to avoid nasty burns and a hat to cover your head.
- Let others know where you are going especially if you are planning to explore an unknown route.
This is it for my Mallorca trekking post and I hope you liked it. If you need any help with finding a route or have any questions about the routes described please ask away in comments.
Love, peace & hiking shoes!